Why having the right perspective can change your 2018…and the rest of your life

Writer Dan Brown once said: “Sometimes all it takes is a tiny shift of perspective to see something familiar in a totally new light”. Today, as I was spending the last day of 2017 in the streets of Mexico City buying my daughter an ice-cream, something hit me harder than ever. As my daughter was picking her favorite flavour, a small boy, around 6 or 7, pulled my pants a little bit to call my attention. When I turned to look at him I heared him whispering something I couldn’t understand. I leaned over to try to listen to what he was saying and I heard a weak “can you buy me an ice-cream?” It hit me right there, on one side, an innocent, lucky, almost 8yo girl who probably will never have to beg a stranger for anything, on the other side, a small, innocent boy, with dirty worn clothes begging for something most of us take for granted.

I live in Finland since 2004. It is one the most finacially stable, safest, cleanest, fairest, most environmentally friendly, most politically stable, best educated, most socially balanced countries in the planet, yet, has one of the highest suicidal rates, most terrifying alcoholism numbers, and people complain about the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard. You will never see a Finnish kid begging for an ice-cream on the streets, you could see it every day in any Mexican city. But how could people in Finland or any other first-world country see it? How can people see beyond the every-day-life they experience through their senses every morning.

It is not something that comes naturally to anyone. It’s the way our brains are wired, we see what we have in front of us, we hear what it is arounds us, we understand what we are supposed to understand, it’s survival mode, we spend the necessary amount of energy, nothing more. But we should try. It is worth knowing and understanding what lies beyond our little bubbles, it is called perspective. Perspective is seeing and understanding our lives and experiences from different angles. The only way of getting there is by paying attention to what’s out there beyond our own reality. It is eye-opening and it brings good stuff with it.

Working in Finland, regardless of the job you do, allows you to pay a rent, buy your groceries, pay your bills and expenses while still have some money left to visit Thailand for 3 weeks every year. That is also because even if you have kids, you don’t need to worry about their college education, it’s free. Yet people complain about how much snow is falling on a certain day, about how shitty their work place is (despite having some of the best employment conditions in the world), about how expensive buying a beer has become, about how little chances there are for an entrepreneur in the country, about how little vegan restaurants there are and so on.

In Mexico people see Finland as the promised land, the land with great and free education, with kind, honest people, with saunas everywhere, with great F1 drivers, with beautiful women. At the same time people complain about how unsafe it is here in Mexico, about how dangerous, how corrupted, how expensive, how lame the education is and so on. In some countries of Central America they see Mexico as the promised land, big, powerful country full of oportunities, full of natural resources, jobs, better education, great weather. Yet they complain that in their own countries…..well, you got the point.

How different would it be if instead of complaining about stupid shit, wasting time and energy on it, we could see all the good that others see in our current situations, and realize how lucky we actually are and how good we have it, or at least always much better than many many others. Wouldn’t it be literally life-changing to stop the whining and instead focusing on all the positive aspects of our lives? Because at the end anyway, who cares about our complainings? Only our very closest ones who have pretty much no choice and our loser friends who love to be complaining about stupid shit like us. Missery loves company they say.

If you keep the right perspective of where you are standing and realize that if you can get to a device capable of reading my post, you are most likely on the side of life where you can get your ice-cream any time you want. So stop pretending you are on the side of those who need to beg for anything to survive, just keep the right perspective because it leads to great things, it allows you to be grateful for what you have, and once there it will allow you to move forward, to live a happier life, to help others, to be kind, and with that attitude there is no way of losing in life, there is just not. Cut the crap of writing more empty new year resolutions and realize you just need to have the right perspective of things, it can change your 2018…and the rest of your life. Happy New Year!!

RG